Combat Controller Receives Silver Star, Bronze with Valor

The Air Force has awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with Valor to SSgt. Evan Jones, a combat controller with the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., for his actions during two separate events while deployed to Afghanistan in 2008. He received the Silver Star for his actions during an engagement in which the coalition Special Forces team Jones was supporting came under fire from two directions. Jones coordinated close air support, returning fire and exposing his position repeatedly, and, even after being wounded, continued to direct CAS as his team fought through an area covered by 20 enemy combat positions. The News Tribune reports Jones received his Bronze Star for saving five soldiers and aiding in the deaths of 14 Taliban forces as he called in F-16 strafing runs, F-18 strikes, and helicopter evacuation of wounded team members. (Also see above, Combat Controller Receives Two Silver Stars; Seattle Times report)